27 December 2013

A Keokuk By Any Other Name

Those little words like "township" matter.

The screen shot in this post from Ancestry.com indicates that Clarissa lived in Keokuk, Wapello, Iowa.

When I saw it, I was confused as the City of Keokuk, Iowa, is located in Lee County.
Search results for Clarissa Streeby from Iowa 1870 Census database on Ancestry.com
A look at the actual census page confirmed my suspicions. The actual location was not the City of Keokuk, but rather the township of Keokuk in Wapello County, Iowa. It is too bad that Ancestry.com didn't bother to clarify this when the census index was made.

There may very well be additional townships in Iowa with the name of Keokuk. But this entry indicates the continual importance of looking at the actual record before assuming what is incorrect in a transcription or database.

Had I been in too much of a hurry, I might have ignored the county and concluded that this person lived in the City of Keokuk and that the transcription had the wrong county instead of an incomplete "town."

Iowa also has Keokuk County as well--just to confuse us. Hopefully that didn't confuse the indexers.